Emigration of Cheap EU Workers Caused Wages to Rise for Native Britons
Net migration into the United Kingdom has been falling steadily since the nation voted to leave the European Union in 2016—the infamous Brexit referendum. A report from The Guardian shows the net migration is the lowest it’s been in three years, and it’s still falling.
Why? Because many immigrants from the relatively poor countries of Eastern Europe—particularly Poland and Romania—and leaving Britain, knowing that border controls are likely coming.
This is exactly what the “remainers” feared: “without cheap foreign labor Britain’s economy will collapse” they said.
Of course that hasn’t happened. Britain’s economy has surged since Brexit, driven by a revitalized manufacturing sector.
Furthermore, incomes for native Britons have risen in tandem with the shrinking supply of cheap EU migrant labor. According to a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation:
A sustained upturn in demand for staff and lower candidate availability [has] led to further increases in pay. . . Starting salaries rose sharply overall, with the rate of inflation quickening to its second-strongest since November 2015. . .
Growth in permanent staff placements remained robust at the start of the final quarter of 2017 [and] staff vacancies rose sharply for both permanent and temporary employment during October according to the report.
This is unequivocally good news for British workers, and exactly what should have been expected given the law of supply and demand—more low workers means lower wages, just as more apples means lower prices (all else remaining equal).
Furthermore, this pattern is exactly what we have seen in America since President Trump’s crackdown on illegal alien workers. In Texas, for example, the wages for construction workers rose by up to 30 percent (half of them were illegal aliens).
Something similar happened in Maine, when the state was unable to acquire additional H1-B visa workers: wages rose and working conditions improved.
Things will continue to improve in Britain for native workers, provided they better control immigration from beyond the EU—it makes little sense to simply trade Poles for Indians. If the goal is to better the lot of the British people, then immigration from around the world must be controlled.